A History of the County of Gloucester: Volume 7. Originally published by Oxford University Press for Victoria County History, Oxford, 1981.
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The small rural parish of Southrop lies on the west side of the river Leach 18 km. east of Cirencester. It was known as Leach after the river in 1086, (fn. 1) but from at least 1211 the name Southrop, (fn. 2) associating it with the local group of names that includes Hatherop, Botherop (Eastleach Martin), and Williamstrip, was used.
The boundary between Southrop and Eastleach Martin was apparently not fixed until the inclosure of Southrop, completed in 1621. (fn. 3) A perambulation of 1591 appears to place the north boundary of Southrop on what was later the boundary between the two Eastleaches, running from Hammersmith Bottom north-eastwards along a straight track to the Leach. (fn. 4) It seems that though land belonging to Eastleach Martin, attached to the estates of Coate farm and Prior's Coate, lay south of that boundary it was mostly dispersed within Southrop's open fields; the inclosure apparently gave Eastleach Martin the compact area west of the Leach as well as a detached piece, lying between Southrop and Hatherop, (fn. 5) in exchange for those lands and for rights in the downland of Southrop. The east boundary of Southrop followed the Leach, and the south-east boundary, described as a hedge and ditch in 1591, ran from the river to Westwick ford (fn. 6) on the stream called the Beast brook. (fn. 7) The part of the south-east boundary that divided the parish from Lemhill farm (formerly in Oxfordshire) appears to have been of particular significance, for a low, broad bank was visible along it in 1976. The south-west boundary followed the Beast brook and then an ancient salt-way between Lechlade and Droitwich (fn. 8) which gave the names Great and Little Salt hill to two fields beside it in Southrop; (fn. 9) the road, which remained a fairly important local route, was called London way in 1591. (fn. 10) After the early-17th-century inclosure the parish covered 1,493 a. (604 ha.), (fn. 11) to which the detached part of Eastleach Martin, comprising Homeleaze Farm and 90 a. (36 ha.), was added in 1883. (fn. 12)
The land of the parish is mainly flat, lying at about 100 m. with the Leach and the Beast brook forming shallow coombs. The valley of the Beast brook is formed by Forest Marble which in the rest of the parish is overlaid by cornbrash. (fn. 13) Since the inclosure the land has been mainly in tillage with some meadow land by the streams. The small plantation called Bee Furlong brake is the only woodland. Near the end of the Second World War a small airfield was laid out in the west part of the parish but it was not used after the war. (fn. 14)
Southrop village is sited by a crossing point of the river Leach where a bridge called Vedyng (or Vedhams) bridge was recorded from 1379. (fn. 15) The road across the meadows beyond the bridge was causewayed by 1470 but that did not prevent it being flooded. (fn. 16) The manor-house and church were built close to the river and the village grew up along the road running westwards and across the end of that road, on the Lechlade–Eastleach road. It consists mainly of cottages and small farm-houses of the 17th and early 18th centuries. The house called the Pines, now much reduced in size, was the only large house apart from the manor-house. Near the Pines a row of labourers' cottages was built shortly before 1840 (fn. 17) and there are a few other 19th-century cottages. A group of new houses was built in the south part of the village in the 20th century. Some substantial stone farm buildings survive, including a notable range of barns at Manor Farm by the church.
Stanford Hall (formerly Stanford Farm), an outlying farmstead on the south boundary of the parish, was apparently established in the early 18th century, (fn. 18) and in the mid 19th century two farm cottages were built near by. (fn. 19) Hook's Farm in the west part of the parish had been built by 1752. It was demolished to make way for the airfield, which also severed Hook's Lane running past the farm to join the Fairford-Burford road. By 1752 there were some outlying cottages west of Southrop village at Tiltup, which was perhaps once the site of a wayside cross, for the name Standing Cross Lane was given to the Fairford-Eastleach road north of the crossroads there. (fn. 20)
In 1086 35 inhabitants of Southrop were recorded. (fn. 21) Twenty-two people were assessed for the subsidy in 1327, (fn. 22) and 64 for the poll tax in 1381. (fn. 23) There were said to be c. 46 communicants in 1551, (fn. 24) 12 households in 1563, (fn. 25) and 35 families in 1650. (fn. 26) The population was estimated at c. 170 about 1710 (fn. 27) and at 216 c. 1775. (fn. 28) In 1801 there were 238 people in the parish and the population had risen to 425 by 1851. The decrease to 362 by 1861 was attributed partly to the departure of one large family but the decline was continued to 259 by 1901 and, with fluctuations, to 205 by 1971. (fn. 29)
The Swan inn in the village at the junction with the road from Eastleach had opened by 1843 when there was also the Greyhound near the east end of the village. (fn. 30) The latter had closed by 1891 (fn. 31) and the Swan was the only public house in the village in 1976. An inn was recorded at one of the cottages at Tiltup in 1824 (fn. 32) but was not mentioned later. A village hall was built c. 1950. (fn. 33)
Manor and Other Estates
The estate called Leach owned before the Conquest by Earl Tostig and in 1086 by Walter son of Pons (fn. 34) was apparently the later manor of SOUTHROP. It evidently passed with Eaton Hastings (Berks.) to the Hastings family (fn. 35) and was presumably one of the Gloucestershire fees held by Ralph de Hastings in 1160. (fn. 36) John de Hastings held Southrop in 1211 (fn. 37) but was dead by 1221 when William de Hastings, presumably his son, recognised the right of John's widow Muriel to a third of the manor as dower. (fn. 38) In 1236 Maud, widow of William, held the manor as 1 knight's fee (fn. 39) but in 1239 she held only part in dower while her son William held the residue. (fn. 40) About 1271 William de Hastings (d. c. 1278) granted the manor to Benet of Blakenham on his marriage to his daughter Joan but in 1273 Benet and Joan granted it back to William for life. (fn. 41) In 1285 the manor was held by Benet's heir, a minor, (fn. 42) presumably the Benet of Blakenham who in 1297 gave it to Hugh de St. Philibert and his wife. (fn. 43) It passed to John de St. Philibert who had a grant of free warren in 1317 (fn. 44) and died c. 1333 when his widow Ada received the manor as dower. John's son John (fn. 45) granted the manor in 1353 to the Crown, (fn. 46) which returned it to him and his wife Margaret for their lives, (fn. 47) but they surrendered it to the Crown in return for an annuity for Margaret in 1358. (fn. 48) The Crown granted the manor for life in 1359 to Peter de Bruges, (fn. 49) whose right was acquired by John Short who granted it to William Harvey before 1367. (fn. 50) William and his wife Mary had a grant in tail male in 1376 (fn. 51) and they maintained a household at Southrop in the 1380s. (fn. 52) William was dead by 1400 when the Crown granted Mary an unrestricted title to the manor. (fn. 53)
A part of the manor, comprising a plough-land and a third of a mill, was granted by William de Hastings to his brother-in-law Walter de Grey in 1239, (fn. 54) and Henry de Grey held it at his death c. 1315. Henry's heir was John de Grey, son of John de Grey of Rotherfield Greys (Oxon.), a minor, (fn. 55) whose wardship was granted to David Martin, bishop of St. David's. (fn. 56) John came of age in 1321 (fn. 57) and held the estate as ½ fee in 1333. (fn. 58) By the beginning of the next century it had been re-united with the other part of the manor.
In 1406 Mary Harvey granted the two parts of the manor, called Philibert's Court and Grey's Court, to the college of St. Mary at Leicester, called the Newark. (fn. 59) The college apparently held the manor undisturbed until its dissolution in 1548; (fn. 60) in 1472, however, the Crown made a grant of Southrop manor to Roger Horsley, (fn. 61) but it confirmed Mary Harvey's grant to the college the following year. (fn. 62)
At the dissolution of St. Mary's College the manor was annexed with its other possessions to the duchy of Lancaster (fn. 63) and the Crown retained the freehold until the early 17th century. In 1575 the manor was leased to William Yorke and Ankaret his wife and their right later passed to John Watson, bishop of Winchester. In 1586 a 31-year lease in reversion was granted to Thomas Conway who bought out the successors to the bishop's lease the following year. Conway, who was knighted, died in 1605 or 1606 and in 1607 his trustees sold his lease to Eleanor, widow of Sir Richard Berkeley. (fn. 64) A grant of the manor in fee to Peter Bradshaw made by the Crown in 1605 (fn. 65) was apparently not implemented and in 1607 the manor was granted in fee to Robert Cecil, earl of Salisbury, who sold it to Sir Thomas Roe, Lady Berkeley's son, in 1608. In 1612 Sir Thomas and his mother sold the freehold and leasehold to trustees for Dorothy Wadham who assigned the manor as part of the endowment of her foundation at Oxford. (fn. 66) Wadham College retained the manor until 1926 when it sold the 1,245-acre estate to a man who was described as a speculator and who apparently immediately re-sold it. (fn. 67) In 1931 the manor-house and part of the estate belonged to Francis J. Jones. (fn. 68) He sold his estate in 1932 to Capt. Alan Richardson, whose widow Mrs. M. G. Richardson owned 580 a. in 1976 when the manor-house was the home of her son-in-law, Mr. K. C. Combe. (fn. 69) Most of the other land in the parish then belonged to R. Hinton & Sons (Farms) Ltd., an associated company of a firm of agricultural merchants based in the village. (fn. 70)
From 1800, when he took a lease of the manorhouse, (fn. 71) Michael Hicks Beach of Williamstrip Park built up a large estate of land held under Wadham College, acquiring in particular 181 a. from John Tuckwell in 1828. In 1840 his grandson Sir Michael Hicks Beach held most of the parish, including leaseholds and copyholds amounting to 875 a. and the Freehold and Stanford farm estates. Sir Michael sold his leaseholds and copyholds in 1842 to Charles Royds Smith, who made his home at the manorhouse. (fn. 72) Smith sold his rights in the lands back to Wadham College in 1857. (fn. 73)
The manor-house of William de Hastings at Southrop was mentioned in 1221. (fn. 74) The Greys had a separate house, known as Grey's Court in the early 15th century, (fn. 75) for their part of the manor; it had presumably been demolished by 1591 when a close on the demesne was called Grey's Court. (fn. 76) Southrop Manor, the surviving manor-house, was always leased out by Wadham College after it acquired the estate, though the warden and fellows reserved the right to use it in time of plague at Oxford. (fn. 77) Alterations and additions in the 19th and 20th centuries have obscured some of the earlier history of the house. It seems probable, however, that the 12th-century doorway, now reset as the entrance to the dining-room but formerly at first-floor level, reflects the date of the earliest part of the house, a tower-like block close to the north-east corner of the church. That may be the only portion surviving of the house that included a hall and kitchen, both greatly decayed, in 1588; (fn. 78) the range to the north of it, now kitchens, appears to have been built in the 17th century. Parts of the eastern range may also be of the 17th century, and the north-eastern room, known as the Court Room and presumably once used for meetings of the manor court, seems to be an addition of the early 19th century. Later in the 19th century, perhaps in the time of C. R. Smith, rooms were added on the south-east and the south front was rebuilt in Victorian Cotswold style. (fn. 79) Between 1926 and 1939 the south front was remodelled in Georgian style and the principal rooms were refitted, the dining-room to designs of Norman Jewson; 18th-century fireplaces from Lechlade Manor were introduced in other rooms. (fn. 80) The outbuildings include stabling of the 17th and early 19th centuries.
Among freehold estates recorded at Southrop in the Middle Ages were 2/3 hide held by William of Southrop from William the chamberlain in 1227 (fn. 81) and lands which John, son of Robert Combe, held before 1470. (fn. 82) One or both of those estates may have been represented by that later known as the FREEHOLD which Thomas West of Testwood (Hants) sold to Henry Keble in 1570 when it comprised 2 houses and c. 60 a. (fn. 83) Henry (d. 1603) was succeeded by his son Edmund who in 1610 also had a considerable copyhold estate. Edmund died in 1612, leaving an infant son Thomas, (fn. 84) who was the ward of his stepfather Henry Aisgill in 1616. (fn. 85) The Freehold estate remained in the family until 1718 when Thomas Keble of Brown's Hill, Bisley, sold it to the Revd. John Powell, who settled it on his wife Elizabeth and his daughter Elizabeth, wife of Charles D'Oyley. D'Oyley was succeeded at his death in 1776 by his son Charles (d. 1802), whose widow Ann held the estate until her death in 1818. Her children sold it in 1819 to John Tuckwell of Eastleach Turville. John (d. 1826) was succeeded by his son John who sold the estate in 1827 to Michael Hicks Beach. (fn. 86) It passed with Hicks Beach's leaseholds and copyholds to C. R. Smith (fn. 87) who sold most of the land of the estate to Wadham College in 1858. (fn. 88) The house belonging to the estate, where the D'Oyleys lived in the later 18th century, stood in the village on the east side of the road to Eastleach. (fn. 89) Most of the building was pulled down before 1842, (fn. 90) but one wing, incorporating work of the early 17th and the 18th century, survived in 1976 when it was known as the Pines. A large gabled dovecot stands by the house.
In 1745 an estate called STANFORD FARM in the south part of the parish comprised a house, then newly built, and c. 114 a. and was owned by James Chaunler (d. 1760). After his death the estate was put up for sale for the benefit of his creditors and it was bought in 1763 by Mary Chaunler (d. c. 1779) who was succeeded by her son John Chaunler, rector of Coates. John left the estate, with the adjoining Downs farm in Lechlade, to Mary Cripps of Cirencester. She contracted to sell her estate in 1799 to Joseph Pitt, and Pitt soon afterwards contracted to sell it to Michael Hicks Beach who took possession in 1799 but did not secure his title until 1821. (fn. 91) Stanford farm remained part of the Williamstrip estate until 1866 when it was sold to the farmer George Beak; it then included 436 a., mostly the Downs farm land in Lechlade. (fn. 92) In 1906 it belonged to John Davies (fn. 93) and in 1919 to Thomas Freer Meade. (fn. 94) About 1936 it was bought by the Hinton family which owned and farmed it in 1976. (fn. 95) The house, which became known as Stanford Hall, was rebuilt by George Beak in 1868. (fn. 96) By 1976 it had been alienated from the estate, which was farmed from a new farm-house built near by.
The rectory of Southrop, belonging to the Hospitallers, included a plough-land in 1341 (fn. 97) but it comprised only the corn tithes with a barn and close in 1537 when it was leased at £4 2s. to John Lord, vicar of Southrop, and others. (fn. 98) The Crown leased the rectory to William Hearle from 1582 (fn. 99) and in 1590 granted it to John Wells and Richard Pate. (fn. 100) In 1612 William Swayne and his wife Bridget conveyed it to Robert Keble. (fn. 101) Robert conveyed it in 1616 to Thomas Tempest (fn. 102) and Thomas with others conveyed it to Francis Tubb and Richard Vokins in 1630. (fn. 103) In 1664 Thomas Keble acquired a moiety of the rectory from the Tubb family (fn. 104) and he settled it on the marriage of his daughter Elizabeth to Richard Eyloe of Shrivenham (Berks.) in 1686. (fn. 105) Richard settled it on his son Richard in 1716 and the younger Richard (d. 1750) left it to his wife Mary and after her death to a relation Mary Keble. From after Mary Keble's death Richard granted the moiety to supplement the income of the vicars of Southrop and pay a parish schoolmaster, but those provisions were declared void under the legislation on charitable gifts and on Mary's death in 1790 Richard's heirs Thomas Tyler of Minchinhampton and Sarah, wife of Daniel Mills of Chalford, took possession. They sold the moiety in 1791 to Mary Jenner but later had to recompense Eleanor, wife of Thomas Hassal, who established her claim as another coheir of Eyloe. (fn. 106)
The other moiety of the rectory had passed by 1719 to Robert Jenner of Marston Maisey (Wilts.) who was succeeded at his death in 1742 by his son John (d. 1787). John's daughter and heir Mary reunited the two moieties and sold the rectory in 1802 to John Tuckwell (d. 1826), whose son John (fn. 107) sold it in 1833 to Sir Michael Hicks Beach. Sir Michael, who received a rent-charge of £309 for the tithes in 1840, sold the rectory in 1842 to C. R. Smith (fn. 108) who sold it to Wadham College in 1858. (fn. 109)
In 1086 Southrop manor had 4 teams in demesne and 12 servi; 20 a. of meadow were also recorded. (fn. 110) In 1297 the St. Philiberts' part of the manor had in demesne 2 plough-lands, comprising 192 a. in all, and 20 a. of meadow (fn. 111) but by 1333 the arable on that estate had been reduced to 100 a. and the meadow to 10 a. (fn. 112) The Greys' estate in 1315 had in demesne 160 a. of arable, 8 a. of meadow, and a several pasture. (fn. 113) Part, at least, of the demesne land at Southrop was leased out to tenants by 1383, and the former demesne of the Greys' estate was granted on a 70-year lease in 1409. (fn. 114) In 1591 the demesne land occupied by the farmer of the manor included 400 a. of open-field land, 65½ a. in closes, and rights in various meadows including 10 a. in Kempsford. (fn. 115)
In 1086 the tenants of the manor were 16 villani and 6 bordars who, with a priest, shared 8 ploughteams. (fn. 116) The St. Philiberts' estate had 16 tenants in 1297, including 8 customary yardlanders each holding 24 a. (fn. 117) In 1333 that estate had 3 free tenants, 6 customary tenants whose services had been commuted for cash rents, 6 customary tenants owing works, and 3 cottars. (fn. 118) In 1315 on the Greys' estate there were 4 free tenants with a total of 46 a., 11 customary tenants with 276 a., and 4 cottars. (fn. 119) By the late 16th century there was only one freehold estate, that owned by the Kebles, a family which was also prominent among the copyholders. In 1591 there were 7 copyholders mostly with fairly large estates, including one of 5 yardlands and another of 4½ yardlands. (fn. 120) Copies were granted for 3 lives, and a life could be replaced in return for a fine valued at a year's purchase. (fn. 121) By 1608 there were also some parcels of former demesne land held on leases for years and also two cottage tenements. (fn. 122)
The parish contained two open fields, the north field lying north-west of the village and the south field to the south; they covered a total of 855 a. in 1615. (fn. 123) In the west part of the parish lay the common downs covering 100 a. (fn. 124) In the east by the Leach was some rich meadow land; that on the St. Philiberts' estate was valued at 18d. per acre in 1297 compared to a value of 3d. per acre put on the arable land, (fn. 125) and within a few years the value of the meadow on both manor estates had risen to 2s. per acre. (fn. 126) In 1591 there were 67 a. of common meadow called the Moors lying by the Leach, and the tenants also had pasture rights in certain meadows on the demesne. (fn. 127) As in all the surrounding parishes sheep were pastured fairly extensively. There was a sheephouse at the site of the manor in 1588 (fn. 128) and a shepherd was recorded in the parish in 1608. (fn. 129)
The parish was inclosed in the early 17th century under agreements made in the manor court. One of the incentives for the inclosure was probably the need to define more clearly the boundary with Eastleach Martin. The tenants of Eastleach Martin and Southrop intercommoned in the downs in the late 16th century, (fn. 130) and the lands of Coate farm, a demesne estate of the dean and chapter of Gloucester in Eastleach, and of Prior's Coate, an estate there formerly belonging to Malvern Priory, apparently lay intermingled with those of the Southrop manor estate. (fn. 131) In 1599 the lessee of the manor, Thomas Conway, suggested a limited inclosure to consolidate his demesne estate but the Southrop tenants, whose relationship with Conway had for some time been strained, rejected his proposal. (fn. 132) In 1616, however, a complete inclosure of the parish was agreed and in 1618 six arbitrators, two each representing Wadham College, the dean and chapter, and the tenants, were chosen to carry it through. Besides the freeholders (who included John Blomer as owner of Prior's Coate) all the copyholders were party to the agreement and had lands allotted in right of their estates. The inclosure was completed after the harvest of 1621 (fn. 133) although the division of rights in the meadows between Coate farm and the manorial demesne continued to give difficulty for some years afterwards. (fn. 134)
The inclosure of the parish facilitated sub-letting and the emergence of larger farms. The land was held under Wadham by copyhold, leasehold for lives, or 20-year leases renewable after 7 years. By the 18th century, however, the copyholders and leaseholders, mostly members of the Chaunler, Tuckwell, D'Oyley, and Keble families, (fn. 135) did not usually farm their land but let it to tenants-at-will. The main farms were made up of land held from two or three different copyholders and leaseholders (fn. 136) and by 1842 the complexity of tenures had made the identification of some of the lands named in the original copies and leases a difficult task. (fn. 137)
In 1798 the two biggest farms in the parish had 424 a. and 381 a. respectively, two others had c. 100 a., and two more c. 75 a.; there were also a few smaller holdings. (fn. 138) In 1840, when Sir Michael Hicks Beach held most of the parish by various tenures, his estate was organized as three main farms: Manor farm with its farm-house near the church and additional buildings at Hook's Farm in the west part of the parish had 371 a.; 234 a. were farmed from a house in the village later called Southrop Farm; and c. 300 a. of the parish were included in Stanford farm. (fn. 139) After 1857 when Wadham College bought in the bulk of the leasehold and copyhold land (fn. 140) it leased most of the estate in a single large unit. W. J. Edmonds farmed 1,054 a. from the manor-house in 1868, (fn. 141) and Stanford farm, which included land in Lechlade, was the only other farm of any size based in the parish. (fn. 142) In 1926 Thomas Arkell farmed all but a small part of the manor estate, although it was offered for sale in that year as three separate farms, based on Manor Farm, Southrop Farm, and Hook's Farm. (fn. 143) A number of small holdings still remained at that time, seven of under 50 a. being returned in 1926. (fn. 144) In 1976 most of the land of the parish belonged either to Manor farm or to Hinton & Sons.
The farms of the parish were predominantly arable. (fn. 145) In 1798 the proportion of arable to pasture was 964 a. to 425 a. (fn. 146) and in 1840 1,011 a. to 393 a. (fn. 147) The soil was generally light and dry and in 1798 a six-field rotation was the general practice in the parish, with wheat, barley, and oats in three of the years, and in the other three presumably roots and grassland leys to provide feed for the sheep. (fn. 148) In 1842, however, some heavier soil required a three-course rotation of wheat, beans, and either vetches or a fallow, (fn. 149) and some land on Stanford farm was in need of draining in 1857. (fn. 150) In parts of the manor estate W. J. Edmonds threw two or three fields together before 1868 to facilitate steamploughing. (fn. 151)
The pattern of agriculture suffered relatively little alteration until the middle years of the 20th century. The late-19th-century slump brought some decline in cereals but little arable went out of cultivation, largely because of a greater use of leys in the rotation. The number of sheep kept, returned at 1,481 in 1866, was down by only a few hundred in 1896 and 1926, and the number of cattle, between 100 and 200, was not significantly altered during the period. (fn. 152) In 1976, however, dairy and beef cattle, of which 682 were returned, were an important element in local farming and arable cultivation was concentrated on wheat and barley; sheep were still kept in considerable numbers (fn. 153) and included a well-known flock of Dorset Horn on Manor farm. (fn. 154)
The mill on the manor in 1086 (fn. 155) was presumably the later Southrop mill standing on the Leach at the east end of the village. A third share in the mill belonged to the Greys' estate in the 13th and 14th centuries. (fn. 156) The mill remained part of the manor estate later and was never more than a small cornmill, (fn. 157) though it had a malt-house attached in 1684. (fn. 158) It apparently ceased to grind corn c. 1912, (fn. 159) but the wheel was still in use for pumping water to the manor-house in 1926. (fn. 160) The 17th-century millhouse and buildings had been restored for use as a private house by 1976.
A weaver, a smith, and a carpenter were the only non-agricultural workers listed in 1608 (fn. 161) and only the basic village trades are recorded later. In 1831 12 families gained a livelihood by trade as compared to 48 supported by agriculture. (fn. 162) In the 19th century the tradesmen usually included at least two shopkeepers, two carpenters, a blacksmith, and a bootmaker, and the last three trades survived until the 1930s. A stonemason worked in the village in 1856 and another inhabitant was employed as a land surveyor. (fn. 163) A firm of agricultural merchants, originally established in Eastleach Martin by Robert Hinton, who farmed land in Southrop from 1928, built premises at Southrop Farm in 1953. It took over another business based at Lechlade in 1969, and in 1976, as R. Hinton & Sons, Yarnold & Gale Ltd., its business included the manufacture and distribution of animal feed and the sale of fertilizers and agricultural chemicals. (fn. 164)
The Southrop manor court also exercised view of frankpledge. The St. Philiberts retained the frankpledge jurisdiction in the 13th and 14th centuries when the Greys apparently held a separate manor court for their estate. (fn. 165) The court also administered the assize of ale and in the late 14th and early 15th centuries heard pleas of debt and trespass. It appointed a constable and a tithingman and, in the early 17th century, an aletaster. In 1606 supervisors of the fields and commons were appointed. With the inclosure and the decline of the frankpledge jurisdiction the court's business became limited to copyhold matters and the care of roads, streams, and ditches. After the early 17th century only one full session of the court a year was held with occasional extra courts for granting new copies. By the early 19th century the court was held less frequently and the last recorded meeting was in 1837. (fn. 166)
The parish had two churchwardens and two overseers (fn. 167) but no early records of parish government are known to survive. Two surveyors of the highways were appointed in the manor court in the early 17th century. The court also took action to stop any influx of poor people in 1626, (fn. 168) but it is unlikely that poor-relief was ever a very serious problem in the parish where proliferation of poor cottagers was restricted by the early inclosure. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries the cost of relief was contained at a reasonable level; there were 14 people on permanent relief in 1803 and only 3 in 1815 though in the latter year there were also 73 people (a large number compared to neighbouring parishes) who received occasional relief. (fn. 169) Nine cottages in the village were taken on lease from Wadham College at a nominal rent by the leading inhabitants in 1778 and were apparently used as rent-free accommodation for the poor. (fn. 170) In 1836 Southrop became part of the Northleach union (fn. 171) and it was in Northleach rural district (fn. 172) until the formation of Cotswold district in 1974.
There was a priest at Southrop, and therefore presumably a church, in 1086. (fn. 173) Later the church was granted to the Knights Hospitallers and a vicarage had been ordained by 1320. (fn. 174) The rectory and the advowson of the vicarage were retained by the Hospitallers, (fn. 175) although the bishop collated to the vicarage several times in the 15th century. (fn. 176) After the Dissolution the advowson was kept in hand by the Crown until the early 17th century when it passed with the manor to Wadham College. (fn. 177) In 1930 the vicarage was united with the Eastleaches, from which time the advowson of the united benefice alternated between Wadham College, the Lord Chancellor, and the dean and chapter of Gloucester. (fn. 178)
The vicarage included the small tithes and 48 a. of arable land in 1535, (fn. 179) and in 1738 the glebe totalled 58 a. (fn. 180) The vicarage house, recorded from 1584, (fn. 181) stands on the main village street west of the church. It apparently dates mainly from a rebuilding of c. 1810 but it was extended to the east in 1882. (fn. 182) It was sold after 1930, the incumbent of the united benefice residing at Eastleach Martin. The vicarage was valued at £4 14s. in 1535, (fn. 183) at £30 in 1650, (fn. 184) and at £50 c. 1710. (fn. 185) In 1743 it was valued at only £45, (fn. 186) but in the 1770s it was said to be worth £100. (fn. 187) The vicar's tithes were commuted at £206 in 1840, (fn. 188) and in 1851 the value of the benefice was £253. (fn. 189)
The vicar John Lord could not repeat the Commandments in 1551. (fn. 190) Rannulph Swetnam, vicar 1564–75, had another benefice and in 1572 his curate had two cures and apparently neglected Southrop. Thomas Houghton, vicar 1587–1604, (fn. 191) was described as a sufficient scholar but no preacher. (fn. 192) Robert Kitson, the vicar in 1650, (fn. 193) subscribed at the Restoration and held the living until his death in 1671. (fn. 194) Later the living, a relatively poor one, appears to have usually been left to curates; John Powell served during three incumbencies from 1676 until his death in 1731. (fn. 195) John Baldwin, vicar 1776–1812, (fn. 196) lived near Tenbury (Worcs.) and in 1784 the curate serving the parish lived at Lechlade. (fn. 197) From 1823 until 1825 John Keble served as curate at Southrop and lived in the vicarage house; his brother Thomas succeeded him as curate. (fn. 198)
The church of ST. PETER (fn. 199) is built of limestone rubble with ashlar dressings and comprises chancel and a nave with north porch and south transeptal chapel. The nave is of the 12th century and most of the original walling, with the stones laid herringbone fashion, (fn. 200) survives together with two windows and the north doorway, which is of two orders with a lattice-decorated tympanum. The 12th-century chancel arch also survives, but the chancel was rebuilt in the 13th century and has a double-lancet east window with plate tracery and single-lancet windows in the side walls, the westernmost having low-side windows beneath them. The south transept was added in the earlier 14th century and the blocked south doorway is also of that period though probably replacing an earlier doorway in the same position. The nave walls were heightened in the 15th century and the western one largely rebuilt; several new windows were also put in. The original bellcot was incorporated within the new west gable, but in 1858 there was a wooden belfry above the gable. (fn. 201) There are three aumbries and two piscinas in the chancel and above the chancel arch is a squint which gave a view of the high altar from the rood loft, recorded in 1563. (fn. 202) Other squints on each side of the chancel arch are now entirely of the 19th century but presumably reproduce medieval predecessors.
At a restoration carried out c. 1852 (fn. 203) the chancel was reroofed and a gallery removed from the south chapel. (fn. 204) There was a further restoration in 1895 (fn. 205) and the new stone bellcot and two Norman-style windows, replacing an original Norman window and a 15th-century window in the nave, were apparently added then. (fn. 206)
The richly decorated font dates from the 12th century; the bowl is carved with an arcade filled with figure sculpture showing the Virtues overcoming the Vices. (fn. 207) Effigies of Sir Thomas Conway (d. 1605 or 1606) and his wife Elizabeth, (fn. 208) originally on a tomb in the south chapel, were moved to the sanctuary in the 19th century and the coat of arms from the same tomb was placed in the chancel. (fn. 209) A fragment of glass in a window in the chapel is painted with the arms of Roach, (fn. 210) a family not otherwise known to be connected with Southrop. One of the two bells was cast by Thomas Rudhall in 1774. (fn. 211) The plate includes an Elizabethan chalice. (fn. 212) The parish registers survive from 1656 for marriages and burials and from 1680 for christenings. (fn. 213)
After an abortive scheme of Richard Eyloe (d. 1750) (fn. 216) it was apparently not until 1827 that any further move was made to provide schooling at Southrop. A day-school started then had 20 children, paid for by their parents, in 1833 when there was also a Sunday school supported by the clergy. (fn. 217) Attendance at the day-school had risen to 39 by 1847 when the income was supplemented by subscriptions, but there was no secured schoolroom (fn. 218) until one was built on the north side of the village street in 1850. Wadham College, which apparently paid for the building, provided most of the income in 1864, when school pence were also charged. The school, managed by the vicar, then had an average attendance of 50, (fn. 219) rising to 80 by 1885. (fn. 220) By 1904, however, the attendance was down to 49 (fn. 221) and it remained at 50–60 during the earlier 20th century. (fn. 222) In 1976, when the school also served the Eastleaches, there were 38 children on the roll. (fn. 223)
Charities for the Poor
About 1700 a Mr. Bush gave £100 for the poor. (fn. 224) The sum was placed out on personal security and was for many years in the hands of James Chaunler (d. 1760). Chaunler was later said to have made no payment in respect of it but in his will he claimed to have paid £5 to the poor each year and he charged his estate with the continuance of the payment. His insolvency led, however, to the loss of part of the principal and what was recovered was invested in stock and left for many years to recover its original value. Payments were not apparently resumed until the 1820S. (fn. 225) In 1836 Alexander Townsend of Theescombe, Minchinhampton, left £100 for bread and blankets for the poor at Christmas. (fn. 226) The two charities produced an income of £6 14s. in 1856 (fn. 227) and were regulated by a Scheme of 1969. (fn. 228) In the 1970s when the income was c. £3 a year it was used to provide firewood for pensioners or set aside to accumulate to meet particular cases of need. (fn. 229)